WELCOME TO FUTURE U — Neoliberalism in Higher Education

Focusing on the pernicious impacts of neoliberalism on higher education and society. Follow us on Twitter  @NeoliberalHE

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John Dewey

About Neoliberalism in Higher Education

At least since the 1980s, as with other social institutions, public higher education has felt the impact of a movement understood broadly as neoliberalism. As a normative model, neoliberalism promotes radical individualism, limited government, fiscal restraint, and a social order based on market principles.

Despite its influence, neoliberalism has garnered too little public discussion and debate. Colleges and universities have a special responsibility to provide an open forum for intellectual critique of social movements, perhaps particularly when they hit close to home. Moreover, academic faculty must be ever vigilant in guarding the principles and values of higher education as well as its core mission to advance human knowledge and progress. The time has come to have public debates about the type of society that we want, the direction that neoliberal policies have taken society and its institutions, and the alternative paths that lead to a social order in which there is less poverty and greater opportunities for all to realize their potential. There are many paths to a good society, and public universities are one of the central elements across all of those paths. But public universities must first recover their traditional values, governance structures and roles in society if they are to ably shed light on pathways that lead to human and societal progress.

Purpose of Our Website

The purpose of this website–conceived and managed by a group of Michigan State University faculty members–is to be declarative about the pernicious impact of neoliberalism on higher education and society at large.

At the beginning of the website you’ll find a set of definitional articles. Posted first–and kept up front–those articles provide different angles on the phenomenon we call neoliberalism.

After that, you’ll find a rotating set of featured articles, perspectives, news stories, and other materials of interest.

About the Website Designer,

Our Colleague and Friend, the late Bonnie Bucqueroux

Bonnie designed and managed it until her death in October 2015.

BonnieBonnie meant so much to many of us who live in the MSU, Lansing Community College, and Lansing communities. She was a constant and vibrant leadership figure in activist efforts.

You can read more about Bonnie’s life and her many contributions.

RJ Wolcott’s article about her was published in the October 15 2015 edition of The Lansing State Journal.

Read Lawrence Cosentino’s piece about Bonnie, about his relationship with her and the meaning she brought to his life and to so many others. It was published in the October 15 edition of The City Pulse.  Read the article here.

Read Bill Castanier’s evocative recollections of his relationship and collaboration with Bonnie. It’s reprinted from the October 30 presentation of Lansing Online News.

A story about the community remembrance held for Bonnie can be read here (from Page 2 of the Sunday Nov. 1, The Lansing State Journal).


“We’ll change the world one tomato at a time. We’ve certainly been given enough compost to get the job done.” Bonnie Bucqueroux

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